Russia resumes Shahed-136 attacks after Ukraine claims supply is running low

Russia resumes attacks with Shahed kamikaze drones, while Ukraine claims the supply of Iranian munitions is running low. 

14 Shahed-136/131 drones were shot down by Ukrainian air defenses on December 6 and 7, according to a report by the Ukrainian Air Force.  

Several photos and video footage of the drones and their fragments have been posted online, although their authenticity cannot be verified. It is currently unknown if any of the drones reached their targets.  

A gap in attacks  

The attacks come just one day after the spokesperson for the Ukrainian Air Force, Yuri Ignat said that Russian stocks of Iranian-made drones may have run out.  

“There are different thoughts and factors which indicate that probably the first shipment received by the occupiers is over, they ran out of it, physically,” he explained during a press conference held on December 6.   

According to Ignat, 400 of more than 1,700 drones ordered by Russia have already been launched, with more than 300 shot down by Ukrainian armed forces.  

“We have reasons to think the first shipment is done with, and there is no information about Iran going to deliver new shipments,” Ignat continued.   

The spokesperson also said weather may have influenced Russia’s operations, reinforcing earlier reports that Shaheds are poorly adapted for cold weather.  

The previous attack, during which Ukraine claimed to have destroyed five Shahed drones, took place during the morning of November 17.  

Shipments from Iran  

It remains unclear if Russia received a new shipment of the drones or resumed using existing ones.  

Reports suggest a complex network of air and sea shipping lanes is used to supply Russia with Iranian equipment, including the Russian Air Force and Iranian commercial aircraft flights. 

Some shipments were made in exchange for Western weapons captured in Ukraine, others were paid for with cash, various press channels have reported, referring to sources connected to both Western intelligence and local insiders.   

Russia used Iranian drones, in combination with domestically produced ones, as well as cruise missiles and various kinds of artillery, to strike targets on the frontlines and deep inside Ukraine, primarily targeting civilian infrastructure.  

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